After returning to Open Class Finals in the past two seasons, Southwind Drum & Bugle Corps took a big first step toward even bigger and better things with new additions to its design staff.
Building on its successful 2018 team, Corps Director Dr. Lawrence LeClaire announced the addition of Ken G. Bodiford, Ph.D., as a design consultant. Dr. Bodiford, Director of Bands at Jacksonville State University needs little introduction in the marching community, leading one of the country’s top music programs for 25 years.
According to Dell Trotter, Southwind’s program coordinator and brass caption head, the addition of Dr. Bodiford to the staff is cause for excitement. “One key focus we have at Southwind is making each season a little better than the one before it. I’ve long admired Ken’s work. With him joining our staff, I feel awfully great about the future.” Trotter himself is a key reason for Southwind’s return to Open Class prominence, serving eight years as Director of Bands at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Before that, he taught for 13 years as a middle school and high school band director.
“Our goals in 2017 and 2018 were to establish a foundation for future success,” adds Trotter. “And with Ken joining what is already a very strong team, we’re looking forward to meeting our future goals even more quickly.”
Dr. Bodiford agrees. “I really admire how Southwind has returned to the field, and look forward to contributing to what is already a great lineup of instructors. We’re already well ahead of last year in show planning and music and, believe me, it’s going to be special.”
In addition to Dr. Bodiford, Southwind continues to bolster its creative staff aim with several key hires and promotions, building on its reputation for fresh and imaginative show design. The corps recently added Designer and Choreographer Rodney Bailey, longtime color guard coordinator for Jacksonville State University, who enjoys a reputation for innovation in the color guard community. Under Bailey’s direction, the JSU Center Stage Winter Guard has been a six-time WGI finalist, a WGI Independent Bronze Medalist, and a WGI World Finalist.
Meanwhile, as design and percussion consultant, Terry Sanders brings a broad array of experience to Southwind in the percussion caption, helping boost the groundbreaking work of Caption Heads Elanders Frazier and John Gaal. Sanders has served on percussion staff for a number of DCI and WGI Percussion groups over his career, including earning WGI finalist honors. In addition, Sanders has acted as featured clinician for numerous outdoor and indoor judges’ associations and is a standing member of the Marching Percussion Committee of the Percussive Arts Society. Sanders’ credentials in the community are firmly established as an educational endorser for Remo drumheads, Innovative Percussion, Pearl/Adams drums, and Sabian cymbals.
Having served as an instructor during Southwind’s 2018 season, Ryan Reed has been promoted to front ensemble arranger for the coming season. In addition to his work with Southwind, Reed serves as a front ensemble instructor for Matrix Performing Arts (2013-current). Previously, Reed served as the front ensemble arranger for the Skyliners Drum and Bugle Corps and Sunrisers Drum and Bugle Corps, as well as front ensemble instructor for the Empire Statesmen Drum and Bugle Corps, Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps, Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps and front ensemble instructor/coordinator for Capital City Percussion. In addition to teaching, Reed is a designer for marching bands and indoor drumlines around the country with Ferguson Design Solutions. Reed endorses Innovative Percussion.
How a corps looks on the field is as important as how a corps sounds. To build on our success in 2017 and 2018, Southwind is pleased to welcome Chad Hannah to our design staff. A veteran corps show designer, Hannah is excited to return to Southwind as an alumni from 1990-1992. Hannah brings an impressive range of experience to Southwind’s design team, from visual designer for Spirit from JSU and staff member of Spirit of Atlanta to Director of Bands for Rome High School, Rome, Georgia. Before that, Hannah served as Associate Band Director for Choctawhatchee High School in Fort Walton, Florida. Hannah earned his BS in Music Education from Jacksonville State University.
With the recent staff additions, Dr. LeClaire promises great things for 2019. “The energy and enthusiasm is already even higher than last year. We’re really excited to see what this year’s corps can do. Our design staff continues to raise the bar in both quality and educational value for our members, and we hope to blow our audience away with what we bring to the field this season.”